Are you the One? Or should we search for another?

At the end of his own ministry, when John was in prison questioning whether Jesus was the Messiah (or Christ, in Greek,) he sent two of his disciples to ask directly:

Matt 11:3b-6 (NKJ)
3 “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:
5 “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

I have often wondered why our Lord answered this question so obliquely. John was, after all, his cousin. And he was after all, the very one to testify openly “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” So why did Jesus answer John in this way?

I do know that, in that time, when answering questions regarding Scripture, the answer was most appropriately given in Scripture. And in this way, authority answers authority. And do I know that the Lord was answering him out of the Messianic chapter of Isaiah 35 — and all of that chapter’s entire reference:

Isa 35:3-6 (NKJ)
3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

But still, I couldn’t help wondering why the Lord, knowing well John’s question, and John’s imminent end, answered this question in a way that quite frankly, if it were me, would have left me less than satisfied. And, for that matter, why indeed was John content with that answer? What exactly did He say in that response? And then I searched and saw: He did answer John fully: and say to him — and to us — something far more significant (and satisfying) than “I am the Messiah.” In His response, fully this is what He conveyed:

Isa 35:4 (NKJ)
4 ..Behold, your God..

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